Contested Bodies of Childhood and Youth Conference
Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Professor Angela McRobbie, Goldsmith University of London Professor Gill Valentine, University of Leeds Dr Ruth Panelli, University of Otago
The emergence of 'new social studies of childhood' (James et al 1998) has led to much needed reconceptualisations of childhood and youth, placing greater focus on the social construction of age and on young people's agency. There has, however, been relatively little engagement with questions of embodiment, despite the major attention that this issue has received in work on gender, sexuality and ethnicity. An edited collection by Alan Prout ("The Body, Childhood and Society", 2000) begins to bridge this gap, as does work in geography by Gill Valentine, Tracey Skelton and Elizabeth Teather. However, there remains much scope for debate on different ways of conceptualising the embodiment of childhood and youth and for mapping a broader conceptual terrain, especially at a time when concerns about rising levels of obesity in industrialised countries have led to a major upsurge in political and media interest, directed mainly at finding 'pragmatic' solutions that, too often, are based on narrow understandings of child development. This conference invites speakers from across the humanities and social sciences to discuss how and why bodies of childhood and youth are contested, reflecting on the potential for gaining new insights from a range of theoretical perspectives. Possible themes include: - performativity and techniques of the body - landscapes and scales of embodiment - conceptualising and researching embodiment - disorderly bodies - gender and sexuality - abuse and the disciplining of bodies - race and ethnicity - political and media discourses of child and adolescent embodiment - emotion, affect and potentialities of the body - educating bodies - social inequalities, spatial disparities and health - resisting bodies - consuming bodies and the politics of food
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